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How To Clean Concrete Floors

Standard concrete floors in your garage or basement may be outside your regular living area, but there are things that can be done to help keep them clean, just like the inside of the house. These directions are for standard concrete, for decorative and glazed concrete please refer to the specific articles in this section.

First, use a stiff bristle broom to sweep thoroughly. Work in small sections and use strong short strokes, moving from the back corners of the room towards the center and then from the center toward the driveway. Keep a dustpan and garbage bag handy to dispose of the dirt and debris as you go. For particularly dirty areas, you may find that it's helpful to sweep multiple times. If you are cleaning a basement or rec room in a home that has pets, following up with a silicone broom can help gather pet hair into easily disposable clumps. Next, run a vacuum cleaner over the entire area to pick up dust that was too fine or dispersed for the broom. Pay special attention to the corners.

Now the standard concrete floor should be free of loose debris, and is prepped for the "wet" mop. Mix 1 gallon of hot water, 1/2 cup of powder dish detergent, and 1/2 cup of borax in a sturdy plastic bucket. If you do not yet have a bucket and mop, try using a replaceable, rectangular sponge mop head that can be wrung out and a rectangular bucket,, rather than a standard string mop which may be harder to manage.

Dip the mop in the cleaning solution, and wring out. Concrete floors, sealants and glazes can be damaged by excessive moisture. Scrub the floor in 2ft by 2ft sections, rinsing and wringing the mop regularly and refreshing the cleaning solution as necessary.

After removing the loose debris and mopping with the cleaning solution, rinse the mop thoroughly and go over the floor once or twice with clean water, again wringing the mop first. Allow the floor to dry thoroughly.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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